Education at a Glance

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

Frequency :
Annual
ISSN :
1999-1487 (online)
ISSN :
1563-051X (print)
DOI :
10.1787/19991487
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OECD's annual Education at a Glance looks at who participates in education, what is spent on it, how education systems operate and the results achieved. The latter includes indicators on a wide range of outcomes, from comparisons of students’ performance in key subject areas to the impact of education on earnings and on adults’ chances of employment. This book includes StatLinks, urls linking to Excel® spreadsheets containing the background data.

Also available in: French, German, Spanish
 
Education at a Glance 2013

Education at a Glance 2013

OECD Indicators You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
OECD
Publication Date :
25 June 2013
Pages :
440
ISBN :
9789264201057 (PDF) ; 9789264201040 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/eag-2013-en

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Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators is the authoritative source for accurate and relevant information on the state of education around the world. It provides data on the structure, finances, and performance of education systems in more than 40 countries, including OECD members and G20 partners.

Featuring more than 100 charts, 200 tables, and over 100 000 figures, Education at a Glance provides key information on the ouput of educational institutions; the impact of learning across countries; the financial and human resources invested in education; access, participation and progression in education; and the learning environment and organisation of schools.

In the 2013 edition, new material includes:

  • More recent data on the economic crisis, showing that education remains the best protection against unemployment;
  • More detailed data on programme orientation (general versus vocational) in secondary and tertiary education;
  • An analysis of how work status (full-time, part-time, involuntary part-time) is related to individuals’ level of education;
  • A review of the relationship between fields of education and tuition fees, unemployment rates and earnings premiums;
  • An indicator showing how many of the students who enter a tertiary programme ultimately graduate from it;
  • An indicator on the relationship between educational attainment and two health-related concerns, obesity and smoking; and
  • Trend data covering the years 1995 to 2010-11 for all the key indicators.

    The Excel™ spreadsheets used to create the tables and charts in Education at a Glance are available via the StatLinks provided throughout the publication.

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    Foreword

    Governments are paying increasing attention to international comparisons as they search for effective policies that enhance individuals’ social and economic prospects, provide incentives for greater efficiency in schooling, and help to mobilise resources to meet rising demands. As part of its response, the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills devotes a major effort to the development and analysis of the quantitative, internationally comparable indicators that it publishes annually in Education at a Glance. These indicators enable educational policy makers and practitioners alike to see their education systems in light of other countries’ performance and, together with the OECD country policy reviews, are designed to support and review the efforts that governments are making towards policy reform.

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    Editorial

    This edition of Education at a Glance comes at a time when youth unemployment keeps policy makers awake at night. Between 2008 and 2011 – the years to which most data in this volume refer – unemployment rates climbed steeply in most countries and have remained high ever since. Young people have been particularly hard-hit by un- and underemployment as a result of the global recession. In 2011, the average proportion of 15-29 year-olds neither in employment nor in education or training (NEET) across OECD countries was 16%; among 25-29 year-olds, 20% were NEET. (Among this latter group, 40% were unemployed, more than half of them for more than six months; the rest did not participate in the labour market at all.) In some countries the figures are much higher, with more than one in three people between the ages of 25 and 29 neither in education nor in work. These young people are forced to pay a very high price for a crisis that was not of their making, with long-lasting consequences for their skills, work morale and social integration. The demoralising short-term effects for individuals, families and communities demand urgent policy responses, while the longerterm ramifications, in terms of skills loss, scarring effects and de-motivation, are real and affect countries’ potential for sustainable recovery.

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    Introduction: the Indicators and their Framework

    Education at a Glance 2013: OECD Indicators offers a rich, comparable and up-to-date array of indicators that reflects a consensus among professionals on how to measure the current state of education internationally. The indicators provide information on the human and financial resources invested in education, how education and learning systems operate and evolve, and the returns to educational investments.

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    Reader's Guide

    Although a lack of data still limits the scope of the indicators in many countries, the coverage extends, in principle, to the entire national education system (within the national territory), regardless of who owns or sponsors the institutions concerned and regardless of how education is delivered. With one exception (described below), all types of students and all age groups are included: children (including students with special needs), adults, nationals, foreigners, and students in open-distance learning, in special education programmes or in educational programmes organised by ministries other than the Ministry of Education, provided that the main aim of the programme is to broaden or deepen an individual’s knowledge. However, children below the age of three are only included if they participate in programmes that typically cater to children who are at least three years old. Vocational and technical training in the workplace, with the exception of combined school- and work-based programmes that are explicitly deemed to be part of the education system, is not included in the basic education expenditure and enrolment data.

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      Characteristics of Education Systems
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      Reference Statistics
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      Sources, Methods and Technical Notes
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      Contributors to this Publication
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      Related OECD Publications
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      Australia

      If current patterns of graduation continue, a young person in Australia will have a 51% chance of completing an upper secondary level vocational qualification in his or her lifetime. Programme orientation can make a significant difference when it comes to finding a job. Upper secondary vocational education and training (VET) offers young people the chance to acquire the skills, knowledge and practical experience relevant for specialised occupations, and helps to prepare them for entry into the labour market. In Australia, graduates of upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education with a vocational orientation do particularly well in the labour market compared with their peers in other countries: 86% of 25-34 year-olds with this level of attainment were employed in 2011, the sixth highest level among OECD countries (OECD average: 79%), while employment rates for graduates from a general programme were 8 percentage points lower.

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      Austria

      While unemployment rates rose modestly during the early years of the economic crisis, regardless of workers’ age or educational attainment, the unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds without an upper secondary education dropped from 13.4% in 2008 to 10.1% in 2011 (OECD average: 13.6% in 2008 to 18.1% in 2011), while during the same period, the unemployment rate for adults of the same age but with a tertiary education increased from 2.1% to 3.3% (OECD average: 4.6% to 6.8%) (Table A5.4a).

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      Belgium

      In 2011, almost three out of four Belgians have at least an upper secondary education: 71% of 25-64 year-olds compared with the OECD average of 75%. The younger generation is doing even better: 82% of 25-34 year-olds hold at least an upper secondary qualification, equal to the OECD average. Given current graduation patterns, it is expected that 68% of young people in Belgium will complete an upper secondary level vocational qualification in their lifetime, high compared with the OECD average of 47%.

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      Brazil

      In Brazil, unlike in the vast majority of OECD countries, the percentage of those neither employed nor in education or training (NEETs) remained unaffected by the economic crisis. The proportion of NEETs among 15-29 year-olds remained at 19% between 2008 and 2011 compared with an increase of 2 percentage points on average across OECD countries to 16% in 2011.

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      Canada

      The rate of tertiary education attainment in Canada has increased by 11 percentage points since 2000, with 51% of its adult population holding a tertiary qualification in 2011, the highest rate among OECD countries. By comparsion, the average for the OECD countries was 32% in 2011.

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      Chile

      In 2011, unemployment levels in Chile were among the lowest in the OECD. At all levels of education, unemployment in Chile was 5%, below the average for the OECD of 7.1%.

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      Czech Republic

      In the years before the recent global economic crisis, the Czech Republic, a small open economy, reported annual growth over 6%, well above the OECD average (below 3%). But since 2008, like many other OECD countries, it has faced challenging times. Consequently, in 2010, the government embarked on a multi-year consolidation effort aimed at balancing the budget by 2016 by raising value-added tax (VAT) and excise taxes and cutting operational expenditures.1 However, despite the need to balance overall public finances, the Czech Republic continued to increase funding for the education sector. Between 2005-10 the Czech Republic was among the top eight OECD countries in terms of increases in spending per student (primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education), raising expenditure 25% against the OECD average of 17%.

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      Denmark

      In 2010, Denmark was the OECD country investing the highest proportion of its wealth in education, followed by Iceland, Korea (which came first in 2009) and Norway. Denmark invested 8.0% of its GDP in education in 2010, having steadily increased from 6.2% in 1995, 6.6% in 2000, and 7.4% in 2005. These figures cover public and private expenditure on institutions at all levels of education, but not public subsidies to households for living costs (scholarships and student loans).

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      Estonia

      In 2011, Estonia reported a 8% GDP growth. After ranking first among the OECD countries for GDP decrease between 2008 and 2009 with almost a 14% drop, the Estonian situation improved between 2009 and 2010 with a GDP increase of 2.8% similar to the OECD average. Obviously this improvement did not allow it to catch up to the level of 2008; Estonia still ranks first among the OECD countries for GDP decrease between 2008 and 2010 with a fall of 12% compared with a fall of 1.1% on average across the OECD countries. Nonetheless he strong recent recovery is exposed to considerable volatility (OECD Economic Survey of Estonia, 2012).

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      European Union

      The 2013 edition of Education at a Glance offers a snapshot of how education – and the people who participate in and benefit from it – fared during the first years of worst economic crisis in decades. The crisis in unemployment, particularly among young people, started early and then intensified in most European countries, hitting adults with low levels of education the hardest. The proportion of young people without an upper secondary education in Europe who were neither employed nor in education or training (NEET) grew by 1.8 percentage points between 2008 and 2011, even as the share of NEETs dropped 0.6 percentage point in the United States. While many EU21 countries* trimmed their education budgets, some continued to increase their investment in education, while others managed to offer teachers higher salaries. And as a result of a difficult labour market, more young people chose to continue their studies to prepare themselves for an eventual economic recovery: in most countries, participation in education among 15-19 year-olds increased between 2008 and 2010.

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      Finland

      Finland registered the eighth largest drop in GDP among OECD countries between 2008 and 2010: a fall of 5%, a significant decrease when compared with the average decreases across the OECD (1%) and EU21 (3%) countries. Despite this, the country is maintaining its efforts to provide sufficient funds for education. In fact, Finland increased its expenditure on education in absolute terms at all levels by 6% between 2008 and 2010. In 2010, annual expenditure per student by educational institutions for all services for all levels of education was USD 10 157, above the OECD average of USD 9 308. Likewise, levels of expenditure in education relative to GDP (7%) were above the OECD average (6%) the same year, reflecting a real effort by the government to maintain provision for its educational system.

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      Germany

      In fact, unemployment rates for German workers at all levels of educational attainment fell between 2008 and 2011. Across OECD countries, unemployment rates among adults who had not attained an upper secondary education rose, on average, from 8.8% to 12.6% during that period; in Germany, they fell from 16.5% to 13.9%, although they remained relatively high.

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      Greece

      Several reductions in teachers’ benefits and allowances affected teachers’ salaries in 2010 and 2011. As a result, gross salaries fell by 17% in real terms between 2009 and 2011, while in the OECD area teachers’ salaries fell by around 2% on average during that period. In addition, Greek teachers also saw their net salaries shrink due to the creation of a solidarity tax, increasing the level of taxation, and the insurance coverage paid by teachers is still calculated based on their earlier higher salaries.

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      Hungary

      During the recent economic crisis, unemployment rates in Hungary climbed steeply and have remained high ever since. People without an upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education were hit hardest: between 2008 and 2011 the unemployment rate for this group increased by almost 6 percentage points from 17.3% to 23.1%, similar to the EU21 countries’ increase of 5.1 percentage points. But even in 2008, before the crisis, unemployment rates among this cohort were already more than eight times higher than for those who had a tertiary-level degree.

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      Iceland

      Although the gender gap for people with tertiary education was already in favour of women in Iceland in 2000 (23% for men against 25% for women, compared with 23% for men and 21% for women on average among OECD countries), the gap widened dramatically a decade later. In 2011, among the 25-64 year-old population, 4 out of 10 women in Iceland (40%) had a tertiary degree compared to less than 3 out of 10 men (28%). On average among the OECD countries, the percentages are, respectively, 30% for men and 33% for women. In Iceland, it’s common to pursue your studies later in life. Based on the current patterns of graduation, it is estimated that more than 1 out of 3 women will graduate from tertiary level after the age of 30, compared to less than 1 out of 10 on average among OECD countries.

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      Ireland

      If current patterns of graduation continue, 89% of young people in Ireland today will obtain an upper secondary qualification in the course of their lifetimes. Educational attainment in Ireland has increased significantly since 2000. The proportion of adults with below upper secondary education has decreased by 16 percentage points while the proportion of adults with tertiary education has increased by virtually the same amount, reaching 38% in 2011. This boost in educational attainment in recent years is largely due to the younger generations; 38% of 25-34 year-olds have an upper secondary education as the highest level of attainment and 47% have tertiary qualifications. This represents not only an important cross-generational change compared with older adults (with attainment rates of 29% and 23% respectively), but places Ireland above the OECD average of 39% of 25-34 year-olds with a tertiary qualification. For this age group, Ireland is now ranked behind only Canada, Japan and Korea.

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      Israel

      Israel ranks second among OECD countries for the proportion of 5-14 year-olds in its total population, with 18% compared with an OECD average of 12.5%. The 5-29 year-old population makes up 41% of Israel’s total population, placing it just below Mexico (47%) and Turkey (44%) and well above the OECD average of 33%. Although access to education for 5-14 year-olds is universal, Israel, Mexico and Turkey are the three OECD countries with enrolment rates for 15-19 year-olds below 65%, almost 20 percentage points below the OECD average of 84%.

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      Italy

      Spending per student in primary and secondary schools has remained flat for the past 15 years, increasing by only 0.5% in real terms between 1995 and 2010. Italy is the only OECD country that did not increase spending per student in primary and secondary education since 1995. By contrast, OECD countries increased spending per student at these levels of education by 62%, on average, during this period. While spending per tertiary student rose by 39% over the same 15-year period, well above the 15% OECD average increase, this was largely due to an increase of funding from private sources. Nevertheless, spending for tertiary-level students (USD 9 580, in PPP) remains well below the OECD average (USD 13 528).

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      Japan

      The 2013 edition of Education at a Glance offers a snapshot of how education – and the people who participate in and benefit from it – fared during the worst economic downturn in decades. As in most other OECD countries, the unemployment crisis hit young people in Japan particularly hard; but unlike any other OECD country, Japan also had to cope with the effects of the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake, which struck in March 2011, as it was trying to recover from a manmade crisis.

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      Korea

      Spending on early childhood education in Korea has increased between 2000 and 2010, up to USD 6 739 per pre-primary student, close to the OECD average of USD 6 762. The introduction of a financial support programme that provides tuition fees for all 5-year-olds in 2012, and the extension of this programme to 3 and 4-year-olds this year, is expected to lead to a steady increase in the proportion of total expenditure from public sources over the coming years.

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      Luxembourg

      In 2011, more than three out of four Luxembourgians have at least an upper secondary education: 77% of 25-64 year-olds compared with the OECD average of 75%. The younger generation is doing even better: 83% of 25-34 year-olds hold at least an upper secondary qualification, compared with the OECD average of 82%. If current graduation patterns remain stable, it is expected that almost half of those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education will graduate from a vocational education and training (VET) programme: 45%, compared with 47% across OECD countries, whereas only 29% will graduate from a general programme.

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      Mexico

      Mexico has the highest average annual rate of growth of first-time upper secondary graduation rates among OECD countries for which information is available. Between 2000 and 2011, upper secondary graduation rates grew by 3.6% annually. Based on these patterns, it is estimated that 49% of today’s young Mexicans will graduate from upper secondary education. By comparison, in 2000, it was estimated that 33% of young Mexicans would attain that level of education (Table A2.2a).

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      Netherlands

      At just 3%, the Dutch unemployment rate for people with all levels of education is one of the lowest in both OECD (with an average rate of 7%) and EU21 (where the average is 8%) countries. However, between 2008 and 2011, unemployment increased significantly, affecting people differently depending on their educational attainment and age.

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      New Zealand

      A large percentage of the New Zealand population has attained tertiary education, and the figures remained high in 2011 with 39% of 25-64 year-olds and 46% of 25-34 year-olds holding a university degree compared with the OECD average of 32% and 39% respectively. Based on 2011 patterns of graduation, 55% of today's young people are expected to graduate from tertiary-type A programmes (more theoretical university-based courses) and 35% from tertiary-type B programmes (shorter, more vocationally oriented courses) during their lifetimes, against an average of 39% and 14% respectively for the OECD.

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      Norway

      Norway registered one of the smallest GDP drops of all OECD countries between 2008 and 2009. It fell by 2%, compared with the average decreases of 4% across OECD countries and 5% across the EU21 countries. Between 2009 and 2010, Norway regained 4%, returning its GDP to its level from 2008. Only one-third of OECD countries managed to maintain or increase their GDP between 2008 and 2010, and Norway is one of them.

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      Poland

      In Poland, the employment rate for people with an upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education is 26 percentage points higher than for people without an upper secondary education, one of the largest differences among OECD countries. Tertiary education increases the likelihood of being employed even further: 85% of 25-64 year-olds with a tertiary education were employed in 2011, compared with 66% of those with an upper secondary qualification. This is also one of the largest differences among OECD countries.

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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/education/education-at-a-glance-2013/portugal_eag-2013-66-en
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      Portugal

      Between 2008 and 2011, the rise in unemployment affected individuals unevenly depending on their level of education. The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds without an upper secondary education increased by 5.7 percentage points to reach 13.3% (OECD average increased by 3.8 percentage points to reach 12.6%). At the other end of the spectrum, unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education increased by 2.2 percentage points to reach 8.0% (OECD average increased by 1.5 percentage points to reach 4.8%).

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      Russian Federation

      A large percentage of the Russian population has traditionally attained at least an upper secondary education. The figures remained high in 2011: 94% of 25-64 year-olds hold at least an upper secondary qualification. By contrast, the OECD average is 75%, while the average for G20 countries is 60%. Moreover, Russia had, in 2011, the largest percentage at the OECD of people who had attained tertiary education: 53%, compared with 32% on average among OECD countries and 26% among G20 countries. Much of this advantage is the result of the country’s historically strong investment in education.

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      Slovak Republic

      A large percentage of the Slovak Republic population has traditionally attained at least an upper secondary education, and the figures remained high in 2011 with 91% of 25-64 year-olds and 84% of 55-64 year-olds holding at least an upper secondary qualification compared to the OECD average of 75% and 64%, respectively. Gender differences in educational attainment at this level have faded away over the generations. In 2011, men’s attainment rates at upper secondary education were 11 percentage points higher than women’s among the oldest generation (55-64 year-olds). For younger adults (25-34 year-olds), this difference has disappeared, with 94% of both men and women attaining an upper secondary education.

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      Slovenia

      A large percentage of the Slovenian population has traditionally attained at least an upper secondary education. The figures remained high in 2011: 84% of 25-64 year-olds and virtually all (94%) of the younger generation (25-34 year-olds) hold at least an upper secondary qualification. By contrast, the OECD average is 75% and 82% respectively. Given current patterns of graduation, it is expected that three out of four (75%) of those whose highest level of attainment is upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education will graduate from a vocational education and training (VET) programme, in contrast with only 47% across the OECD countries.

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      Spain

      Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators is the authoritative source for accurate and relevant information on the state of education around the world. It provides data on the structure, finances, and performance of the education systems in the 34 OECD member countries, as well as a number of non-member G20 nations. The 2013 edition of Education at a Glance offers a snapshot on how education – and the people who participate in and benefit from it – fared during the worst economic downturn in decades.

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      Sweden

      The employment rate in Sweden for people with all levels of education is 83%, placing it first (together with Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) among OECD countries. On the other hand, unemployment rates for people with all levels of education have increased between 2008 and 2011. The worsening labour market conditions are affecting people differently, depending on their educational attainment.

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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/education/education-at-a-glance-2013/switzerland_eag-2013-74-en
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      Switzerland

      A large percentage of the Swiss population has traditionally attained at least upper secondary education, and the figure remained high in 2011; 86% of 25-64 year-olds – and 89% of 25-34 year-olds – have obtained at least an upper secondary qualification (the OECD average is 75% and 82% respectively). As in other German-speaking countries, and given current patterns of graduation, it is expected that a young person in Switzerland has a 73% chance of completing an upper secondary level vocational qualification in his/her lifetime, almost always combining school- and work-based elements, which is high compared with the OECD average of 47%.

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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/education/education-at-a-glance-2013/turkey_eag-2013-75-en
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      Turkey

      Despite a significant decrease of 7 percentage points in the proportion of young people neither employed nor in education or training (NEET) between 2008 and 2011, Turkey still has the highest proportion of NEETs among 15-29 year-olds across OECD countries: 35% compared with an OECD average of 16%. The proportion of NEETs is more than twice as high among women than men: 50% of women are NEET compared with 20% of men. This may reflect the large proportion of women who are neither in education nor employed because they are raising families and responsible for household tasks.

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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/education/education-at-a-glance-2013/united-kingdom_eag-2013-76-en
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      United Kingdom

      Public expenditure on all services in the United Kingdom grew by 3% between 2008 and 2010, the first years of the economic crisis – compared to 6% on average among OECD countries – while public expenditure on education increased by 12% (Table B4.2). As a result, the public expenditure on education as a percentage of total public expenditure grew by 9% – the third largest increase among OECD countries after Australia (14%) and Iceland (13%) – while on average among OECD countries, it remained essentially unchanged (Table B4.2). Indeed, between 2000 and 2010 the expenditure per student at primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary levels increased by 74%, the 7th highest increase among 27 countries with available data, while the number of students decreased by 12% (Table B1.5a). At tertiary level, expenditure per student grew by 38% between 2000 and 2010 while the number of students increased of 18%, such that spending per student is now significantly higher than it was in 2000. However, while spending grew faster than student numbers between 2000 and 2005, the reverse occurred between 2005 and 2010 – such that expenditure per student decreased slightly by 3% between 2005 and 2010, whereas on average among OECD countries it grew by 8% over the same period (Table B1.5b).

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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/education/education-at-a-glance-2013/united-states_eag-2013-77-en
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      United States

      The 2013 edition of Education at a Glance offers a snapshot of how people who participate in and benefit from education, fared during the worst economic crisis seen in decades. The crisis in unemployment, particularly among young people, started early and then intensified in most OECD countries, including the United States, hitting adults with low levels of education the hardest. Although the growth rate of tertiary attainment in the United States is slower than many other OECD countries, the United States still has among the largest proportions of tertiary-educated adults in the world.

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